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Old 03-13-2017, 07:01 PM   #1
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Canadian Border Phone Search

Watching the news tonight, they presented cases where normal US citizens are legally being asked to turn over their phone and password to Canadian border agents. They are scanning phones using software to detect social media posts, internet searches, and associations with others. If you resist, they can deny entry and who knows what else.

I had no idea this was occurring, but they stated the number of searches in February equaled the total number of all of last year.

Has anyone experienced this type of search?
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:08 PM   #2
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Nothing new there. US and Canada border services have been able to demand passwords and to look through devices. If you don't cooperate they can deny entry to Canada or to US.
Just same as looking in your glove box or your purse.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:19 PM   #3
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There are reality TV shows about border crossings, including both ways across the Canada-U.S. border. Examining the content of computers and communication devices (such as phones) appears to be normal for either direction across any border when the border agent has a reason to suspect that the traveler's plans may not be as they claimed; it seems that this is most common for people claiming to visiting as tourists for short time, but suspected of planning to stay longer or to work (without permission) in the destination country.

Anyone traveling with a recreational vehicle is potentially set up to stay in the destination country for a long time - we're basically carrying our homes with us - and would not likely have a committed return date (unlike an air traveler with a return ticket). That makes us potential targets for more in-depth examination than an average person.

Anyone disturbed by this examination - or any other form of examination - can choose to withdraw their request to enter the country. I don't see getting a password as much different from getting a key to a locked compartment in the RV. If a border agent needs to spend time browsing my e-mail and automotive information, I hope they don't get too bored.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:19 PM   #4
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While I haven't been to Canada in 20 years, I certainly didn't know this was occurring. I'm willing to bet there are others who aren't aware of this type of search. I'm not worried, but just sharing. I agree that they can knock their socks off searching.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:30 PM   #5
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When I head to Manitoba in June , I plan on leaving my phone at home in Wisconsin . They already know what's on my phone and I find no reason to spend 3 or 4 hours at the border while they search for absolutely nothing . My phone doesn't work in Canada anyway and I don't own a lap top so it's not a big loss. .
I will bring my fishing pole and tackle box .
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:04 PM   #6
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When I head to Manitoba in June , I plan on leaving my phone at home in Wisconsin . They already know what's on my phone and I find no reason to spend 3 or 4 hours at the border while they search for absolutely nothing .
I think that for the vast majority of folks who have not been active militants or have a criminal past that the chances of being delayed 3 or 4 hours while your phone is searched are slim to none.

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Old 03-13-2017, 08:27 PM   #7
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I think that for the vast majority of folks who have not been active militants or have a criminal past that the chances of being delayed 3 or 4 hours while your phone is searched are slim to none.

Ron
I was looking for an excuse to leave my phone at home and just go fishing .The government has now provided me with a plausible reason. I was forced to carry a phone and / or a pager for over 30 years by my employer. Since I am retired I no longer feel the need to be on an electronic leash. Others may feel the need to be constantly connected but I feel no such need. No one calls me anyway so the phone is just one more thing for me to lose or drop in the lake.

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Old 03-13-2017, 09:23 PM   #8
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Others may feel the need to be constantly connected but I feel no such need. No one calls me anyway...
Good one! Me neither.

But while I can see the Canadians denying entry to US citizens who refuse to comply and the US Border Patrol denying entry to Canadians (or others) who refuse to comply, can the US deny entry to US citizens who refuse to comply? Wouldn't they need a warrant? While I have no criminal record--yet--I find this worrisome. Maybe this is too political so I shouldn't even post my concern here.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:37 PM   #9
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I expect they'd just make you wait while they got a warrant. Probably a cozy room, but no view.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:04 PM   #10
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Any detention at a border crossing as long as you don't have a hidden dui or other contraband will eventually work out ok. If you have something to worry about, you have something to worry about. That's how I have gone through life, secret service background checks, phone taps, wanding and being selected out for too big of a belt buckle, it just makes a good story later.
Easy does it.
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